Take Action – Missouri Legislature – Abolish ECT on Children

Periodically we let you know the progress of various proposed legislation making its way through the Missouri General Assembly and suggest ways for you to contribute your viewpoint to your state Representative and state Senator.

The Missouri General Assembly is the state legislature of the State of Missouri and is composed of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The General Assembly is responsible for creating laws for governing the State of Missouri. The Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo) are electronically available on this site:  http://revisor.mo.gov/.

You can find your Representative and Senator, and their contact information, by entering your 9-digit zip code here.

We’d like you to write your legislators about the bill discussed below. Please write from your viewpoint as an individual or professional, and not as a representative of any organization. Let us know the details and any responses you get. The full text of this bill can be found here.

Check out our handy discussion about How to write to a legislator.

If you are not a voting resident of Missouri, you can find out about legislation in your own state and write your own state legislators; also, we are looking for volunteers to monitor legislation in Missouri and the states surrounding Missouri — let us know if you’d like to help out.

Very Good Bill
This bill supports human rights, particularly those of children. Please express your support and opinion about this to your Missouri State Representative.

HB1451 – House Bill 1451 – sponsored by Representative Karla May (Democrat, District 84, St. Louis City).

This bill prohibits the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) on children under 16 years of age. Any person or mental health facility that administers electroconvulsive therapy to someone under 16 years of age will be fined up to $100,000 or imprisoned for two years, or both, and will be liable for compensation to the person that was given the electroconvulsive therapy.

What can we say? You are being hoodwinked by a small group of psychiatric industry special interests who claim that electroshock is good for you. About time to get this one passed! Write your legislators now! Stick your finger in an electric socket if you think ECT is good for anyone!

In fact, we just heard about a case in Missouri where a 5-year-old child was given electroshock. This is unconscionable, and a no-brainer to pass into law.

When we speak with people about electroshock, the typical response is, “We didn’t know that was still being done.” In fact, ECT is a huge money-maker for psychiatry in Missouri, because the damage it does to the brain makes a patient for life. Barbaric practices like shock treatment need to be eradicated.

Despite modern ECT being promoted as “new and improved,” there is much evidence that contradicts this claim. California, Colorado, Tennessee and Texas have already banned the use of ECT on those aged 0-12 and 0-16. The Western Australian government banned the use of ECT on those younger than 14, with criminal penalties if this is violated. ECT should never be used on children.

In light of the fact that the FDA admits ECT can cause cardiovascular complications, memory loss, cognitive impairment, brain damage and death and that psychiatrists admit they do not know how ECT “works,” we call upon the Missouri legislature to pass HB1451 into law this session.

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